To goat lovers... A sad but important letter...


I would like to share a story with you and some important information you may or may not know.  My niece and her husband have a small farm within the city limits of Philadelphia, PA.  First a little background, my niece and her husband are the most loving people I know.  They have treated their animals better then I have witnessed many humans being treated.  I am a professional nurse in this state and could tell you many heartbreaking stories.  They have loved and cared for many different kinds of animals over the past several years.  This past summer though, we will never forget the tragedy they incurred nor the pain they experienced within their goat family.  Why am I writing this you may ask?  In hopes that no other may experience the pain that they have felt, for the loss of three of the most wonderful animals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting!  Thier goats, Steve, Snow and Fawn were not just farm animals, they were family members!  Loved and appreciated by many extended family, friends and visitors to their home.  During the course of "normal" farm work, my nieces' husband had been trimming and cutting down some trees on their property.  Before putting his animals to bed that night he had as usual offered the animals a "treat" or gesture of love as he and many others have frequently done, by ripping off leaves from the trees and admiring their enjoyment as well as excitement to be hand fed by a human and getting the "extra attention".  They KNEW they were special ! Sadly, and unbeknownst to anyone, that was the last feeding they would ever receive.  During the night, they experienced the most painful and horrifying suffering, had they known, my niece and her husband, although as difficult as it may sound, would have done everything in their power to stop their suffering and pain.  This particular man may have even laid down his own life for that of one he loved.  He's just that kind of person.  They woke the next morning to find the horrifying result, all three of their beloved , lying down and the evidence of their suffering surrounding them.  This couple had no idea at the time, what had happened.  While dealing with their heavy grief, they additionally learned that it had been the leaves from the cherry trees cut off earlier that day, that had become toxic and killed them.  I know first hand, not a day goes by that they don't miss or regret not knowing.  I hope, especially at this Christmas time, that somehow, by sharing their story, another family or person, who genuinely loves their goats, will never experience the heartache they have endured.  Their pen will never again be the same.  But if some good can come of this, they would appreciate the knowing that through their pain, another may have been saved.  Please share this story with any one raising or loving goats, and ask your veterinarians to share with the many they reach, caring for goats.  We ask this through love and prayers for my niece and her husband, and of course, In LOVING MEMORY OF ........... STEVE
                                                                                  and FAWN.
         Merry Christmas and God Bless all of you!
                                                                     The Johnson Family
                                                                     Bensalem, PA

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